Charter Pulse

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OHIO report cards: Charter schools are growing, but are still a small part of state’s education landscape


Student counts available with the state’s recent release of 2012-13 district report cards show how charter school attendance has changed over the last 10 years, compared to traditional school districts. (Courtesy of Arron Churchill/The Fordham Institute)

CLEVELAND, Ohio — More and more students are attending charter schools in Ohio each year, but charters still remain a small part of the state’s education system.

That’s not the case in urban school districts, particularly Cleveland, where charter schools are a major player in education in the city.

Updated student counts are available from the state, now that this year’s state report cards have been released. The Fordham Institute has compiled these, along with other demographic information and test result trends in a report called Parsing Performance.

We’ll be presenting some of those findings, along with those of other agencies analyzing report card data, over the next few weeks. Previously, we passed along an Ohio School Boards Association study that found – as has been the case for years – that higher-income districts performed better on state tests.

The above chart shows charter school enrollment statewide more than tripling since 2003, while enrollment in traditional school districts has declined. Even after that increase, charter schools are still a small part of the state’s educational system.

Charter schools are public schools, open to all students, that receive tax money. But they are privately-run, sometimes by non-profit agencies, sometimes by for-profit companies.

As a comparison, see the adjacent chart of charter school attendance in Cleveland, which is climbing rapidly and making up a much greater share of Cleveland’s students.

A few factors help lead to that disparity. Charter schools in Ohio are designed to offer alternatives to poor-performing districts, so Cleveland, with some of the worst results on state tests in Ohio, is a natural center of charter school activity.

In addition, the school district and Mayor Frank Jackson have embraced charter schools as viable choices to educate the city’s children, and have partnered with some, even sharing local school levy money with a few.

Source: – by Patrick O’Donnell, The Plain Dealer

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This entry was posted on September 19, 2013 by in Charter Schools, Ohio.


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